Starcraft’s MDX deck-boat series is well-represented in the MDX 231 E OB, powered by Evinrude’s E-Tec G2 200 hp two-stroke outboard. The result is a stout performance combo; our tester reached 47 mph with two aboard and three-quarters tank of fuel. Fuel-wise, best cruise speed was at just under 26 mph, where the E-Tec drew 5.7 gph and 3.9 mpg. For tubers and wakeboarders, no worries about the Starcraft’s performance; this combo punches hard from a dead idle, reaching 30 mph in 7 seconds. With the MDX, you get a runabout ride combined with a pontoon layout.
Our test package’s standard configuration was set up for family and party fun. The bow section rocked curved facing couches with great storage compartments underneath the butt cushions. At the bow, a removable center forward cushion revealed a nonskid gelcoated step up over the nose with integrated boarding ladder for easy beaching egress. Welded stainless-steel bow rails are set at the just-right arm/hand height while seated, making holding on easier when it gets rough. An in-floor storage locker provides room for the removable dinette table or some water toys. At the helm, analog Evinrude instruments provide the engine feedback, and the standard Kicker audio gives good background beats. The pilot sits comfortably in a swiveling plush bucket seat with great support. Just in front of the console is a pop-up changing room with optional port-a-potty. Amidships on the port side, our tester featured an optional sink and food-prep station with more storage underneath.
At the stern, the seating is arranged in a cushy, curved L layout, ending at a narrow step out to the transom area. More storage abounds under these seats, with a small cooler tucked beneath as well. Clean rigging is one pretty feature Evinrude G2s offer, and Starcraft’s execution is excellent; the engine looks like it was born on the MDX’s transom.
The MDX is built with a fully bonded fiberglass inner liner and backed with a full Lifetime Plus 6 warranty (lifetime on the hull, six years on everything else). Like all Starcrafts, it’s a great value, offering strong performance and utility.
* Deep, wide cockpit and well-engineered, secure seating offer pontoon-boat roominess with a runabout feel inside, especially important when rigged with larger engines capable of higher performance.
* Strong Evinrude E-Tec G2 power plant gives spirited performance for watersports and fast rides yet doesn’t gulp fuel at any speed.
Price: $57,188 (as tested)
How We Tested
Engine: Evinrude E-Tec G2 two-stroke 200 hp
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Evinrude Rebel 15″ x 21″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 2.17:1
Fuel Load: 44 gal.
Crew Weight: 375 lb.
Starcraft Marine – New Paris, Indiana; 866-772-4538; starcraftmarine.com